Using multiple forecasts to create scenarios Follow

Within a single LivePlan company, you can create up to ten different forecasts. You can use these forecasting scenarios in a number of ways. For example, you can create forecasts for the best, average, and worst case scenarios for your company. Or you can explore scenarios for adding staff, increasing marketing expenses, opening a new office, etc. You could even create forecasts for several divisions (or locations) of the same business.

With this feature, you can also delete an unwanted forecast and start over with a new one if you need to.

Note: When you have multiple forecasts attached to one company, any change of start date or number of years of monthly detail will affect all of the forecasts attached to the company. If you need to create two forecasts with different start dates, we recommend making a copy of the company instead.

 

Creating a new forecast

When you set up a company, it will have one default forecast called Original Forecast. You can see that this is the active forecast when you look at the forecast selection menu, located at the top of the LivePlan app:

createnewforecast.png#asset:1663

You can keep this original forecast as the only one in your company, or you can create up to nine more forecasts.

There are three ways to create a new forecast:

  • By copying an existing forecast
  • Starting one from scratch
  • Importing your accounting actuals to build a starting forecast automatically

Scroll down for instructions on all three options.

 

Copying an existing forecast

You can create a new forecast using an existing forecast (within the same company) as the starting point:

  1. Click on the forecast selection menu, and then click the Create New Forecast button:
    createnewforecastbutton.png#asset:1664
  2. Choose Copy an existing forecast:
    mult-forecast-copy.png

  3. Select the forecast you want to copy:
    createforecastcopy.png#asset:1666
  4. Finally, name the new forecast:
    namenewforecast.png#asset:1667
  5. Click Save & Close.
  6. The forecast you just created will be selected as the active forecast, and it will appear at the top of the forecast selection menu:
    forecast-menubar-multiple-forecasts1.png
Note: The selected forecast will be used to populate the Pitch financials, Forecast, Benchmarks, and Dashboard tabs. You can change the active forecast at any time.

 

Starting a new forecast from scratch

If you want to start with a clean slate, you can create a new forecast that is empty:

  1. Click on the forecast selection menu, and then click the Create New Forecast button:
    createnewforecastbutton.png#asset:1664
  2. Choose Start from scratch:
    mult-forecast-scratch.png
  3. Name the new forecast:
    namenewforecast.png#asset:1667
  4. Click Save & Close. The forecast you just created will be selected as the active forecast, and it will appear at the top of the forecast selection menu. Once you enter data into it, this forecast will populate the Pitch financials, Forecast tables, financial statements, Benchmarks, and Dashboard.
    named-forecast.png#asset:1668

 

Creating a new forecast from accounting actuals

If you use QuickBooks Online or Xero as your accounting solution, you can import your actuals into LivePlan. The most recent year of actuals can then be used to automatically build a foundation for new forecasts.

The simplest way to use this feature is to first connect your LivePlan Dashboard to your QuickBooks Online or Xero account. Then, return to the Forecast tab and proceed through the steps below.

  1. Click on the forecast selection menu, and then click the Create New Forecast button:
    createnewforecastbutton.png#asset:1664
  2. Choose Use accounting data:
    mult-forecast-actuals.png

    Note: If you have not yet connected LivePlan to your accounting solution, you will see the note above. In this case, you can click the Go to the Dashboard link to complete the connection, and then return to the Forecast tab to create a new forecast.

  3. If you have already connected LivePlan to your accounting solution, you will be prompted to name your new forecast. Click Save & Close to complete the set-up:
    mult-forecasts-actuals2.png

 

Switching the active forecast for a company

The active forecast for a company is shown at the top of the forecast selection menu. The numbers from the active forecast will populate all areas of your LivePlan company (the Pitch financials, Forecast tables, financial statements, Benchmarks, and Dashboard).

To switch the active forecast, click on the forecast selection menu, and choose a different forecast:
switchforecast.png#asset:1670

 

Changing the name of a forecast

  1. Select the forecast you'd like to rename from the forecast menu (if it isn't already the active forecast).
  2. Then, choose Edit Details:
    editforecastdetails.png#asset:1671
  3. In the overlay, edit the forecast's name:
    editforecastname.png#asset:1672
    Note: The name can be up to 60 characters long.

  4. Click Save & Close.

 

Deleting a forecast

At some point, you may discover that you no longer need one of the forecasts in your company. To delete a forecast, follow these steps. Please note: deletion is permanent, and a deleted forecast can't be recovered.

  1. Select the forecast you'd like to delete from the menu (if it isn't already the active forecast):
    select-forecast.png#asset:1673
  2. From the same menu, choose Edit Details:
    editforecastdetails.png#asset:1671
  3. Click the trash can icon in the lower left corner of the overlay:
    deleteforecast.png#asset:1674
  4. Click Confirm:
    confirm-forecast-delete.png#asset:1675
  5. Click Save & Close.
  6. Because you just deleted the selected forecast, an overlay will appear asking you to select another active forecast to work on. Choose the desired forecast, and then click the Go to Forecast button:

    gotoforecast2.png#asset:1676

 

Printing a plan with multiple forecasts

When you have multiple forecasts attached to a plan, only one of them can be included in a download of the plan. You can activate any one of your forecasts before downloading the plan for printing.

LivePlan doesn't currently have functionality for including several forecasts in the same plan. If this option would be helpful to you, please contact us and let us know more about your needs.

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